It’s not everyday that you end up thousands of miles away from your base on a random weekend trip without taking a single flight (but everything else), but so it happened and how. When you’re with someone for the first time, the excitement to do new things is intense, and the need to connect strong. Our first trip together as a couple ended up being the symbols of love and erotica at the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India.
However, that wasn’t our plan. All we had set out from Hyderabad to do was visit the wildlife and the tigers at the Pench National Park. However on reaching the sanctuary, we were told to expect to be disappointed as tiger sightings in the reserve have been rare, if not zilch. All we got was this.
Demotivated by this advisory and the steep safari rates for just the both of us, we missed the safari altogether and just spent the evening at a beautiful resort tucked away in the middle of the Pench forest.
Since we were in MP, the home to some of India’s most beautiful sights, we decided to replace our original plan with a whirlwind trip Khajuraho – a temple town, famous the world over for its Kamasutra temples – or basically pornography from the ancient times!
After surviving a volatile journey in a bus, that wouldn’t stop convoluting thanks to the craters on the infamous MP roads, we reached Jabalpur in the wee hours of the morning and had a glorious breakfast comprising of the famous MP Poha and tea, before moving on take a train to Satna towards our final destination. We boarded a local passenger train towards Satna in the morning & a 3hour journey in this passenger train involved sitting on the luggage seat, making small talk with a bunch of local kids. After another bus and shared auto ride, we finally reached Khajuraho in the evening. After a bit of sightseeing and roaming around, attended the ‘sound & light’ show which basically entails 3D projection mapping of the history of Khajuraho on the temple surfaces, making for a beautiful spectacle under the already starlit sky.
The next day we booked an auto to see all the temples in Khajuraho, beginning with the tamest ones (read; no erotica) ending with the most erotic ones! ( Threesome, orgies, beastialty, and what we suspected child porn, basically stuff that you wouldn’t want to see with your family.
The ancient kings were an adventurous lot, weren’t they?
This trip sure made for some giggling or outright shock.
Having had our fill of the beauty and the porno-masquerading-as-art, we decided to extend our trip to a lesser known, but majestic place called Orccha, a few hundred kilomteres away. With no reservations in hand, we just what any luxury backpacker would do. Get into a the local compartment of a train! And there’s me. Using my woman card to get a ticket faster.
This train ride was one of the best parts of the trip, a source of much entertainment and mirth. We sat squeezed in the compartment, where thankfully and almost miraculously, we found a corner to sit, with the beedi-smoking, sharp-featured, colourful locals of MP and shared some of the best moments of the journey, knowing and appreciating that we both could have a great travel experience without caring in the least about luxury or creature comforts.
Orccha turned out to be the surprise package of the trip! A small, barely known town, as big as banjara hills, tucked away in a corner of MP and just as we got off the bus, a large castle-style fort materialised in the front!
We trekked up to the Orccha fort, and the other fort and were enamoured by its grandeur and style and were thankful for this little detour that landed us there.
This was the last chapter in our trip and a couple of hours later we boarded the train back to Hyderabad.